CONCERNS have been raised that some of the poorest people in the county will be penalised if Northumberland County Council reduces the level of council tax support for some claimants.

A consultation ended last week after the council said it needed to look at ways to make savings.

Currently 12,010 claimants in Northumberland receive full council tax support. But the council wants to require all working age applicants to pay a minimum of eight per cent towards their council tax.

At last week’s Prudhoe Town Council meeting, councillors agreed to write to the county council to express their concerns.

Coun. Jennifer McGee said: “I wouldn’t like to see people who are struggling with their income being penalised again and effectively having their quality of life cut once again.”

Coun. Duncan Couchman added: “I see no reason why the poorest people should have to pay this extra charge to make up for failings in other parts of government.” Coun. Glenn Simpson suggested councillors should “put their money where their mouths are” by voting to cut their own allowances.